My reason for not having a child is complex, as reasons usually are, but it can be summarize like this: I did not find a possible loving father for my child with whom I could create the required stable and resourceful environment.

Being unwanted child myself, I was never willing to impose such or similar situation onto another being, to satisfy my instinctual needs. I strongly believe that children should be born into love and excellence, and require two deserving parents who are eager to connect with the young human beings emotionally.

Writing it, I am 43 and will definitely not have children. I gave myself time to have kids till late thirties: my number was around 37, if I was to survive. When I hit 40, during the next year I stopped even thinking about it, assuming the risks for the mental health of a child.


Let me list most of the parts of my reasoning to not have at least one child:

  1. My failure to find a good partner in my youth and to build a strong relationship. Bonding forever through a child with a person I would not want to have in my life was out of question for me. Therefore, I always made a serious effort to know my partner first.
    1. Between ages 25 and 40, for 15 years of my best fertility, I passionately committed myself to three consecutive serious relationships, and then terminated all of them after reaching absolute certainty that they were not viable.
      I tend to be drawn to smart, kind, and strikingly masculine guys. A person with such qualities would be able to keep me for a long time. After getting to know my partners better though, I discovered that I was systematically mistaken in evaluating them on some of these criteria.

      1. Higher intelligence initially can be faked by smart enough people. Wisdom must be shown in actions. I was able to discover the extend of my misjudgement only after significant time of communication and observation. Linguistic and cultural barriers and some isolation made it harder. Fancy degrees, business and professional excellence indicated only some minimal level of intelligence I needed to be involved long term.
      2. It took me a long time to understand, that kindness, or ethical core, is usually inconsistent in people: seemingly highly responsible and empathetic person in one aspect could be morally lacking in others, or under different circumstances. I constantly worked on myself and wanted integrity in people I loved.
        Moreover, discoveries of significant undisclosed character flaws and past actions destroyed trust, and I don't know how to build any relationship without it, and why bother.
      3. Pronounced masculinity is essential to my intimate attachment, but is not clearly identifiable from the beginning - I was fooled by grander, not once. If I had a boy, he would have absorbed the masculine character of the father, and I detected shocking weaknesses. My girl would need to know who the good men are, and would need a better example. And for me, even a strong sexual attachment cannot help me stay if the attraction to the character and the mind of the person is vanishing. No father - no child.

        So I failed. I needed all these three attributes - the intellect, the integrity, and the matching sex appeal. I was willing to "speak" erotic language of love only to people I admire, provided the significant physical attraction is mutual.
        I  thought each time that I found the greatest guy - but I did not.

    2. If I were to have a child, I wanted to spend at least several years dedicated to him or her. However, in the societies I lived it seemed to be too much to ask from the providing partner, on which I would need to rely, regardless of his existing resources.
      My own situation of a double immigrant in my twenties and thirties was highly unstable, and I had no family to rely on. The communities and countries in which I lived sent me a subtle message: don't come to beg for help if something happens, we do not care how much you are willing to invest in the future member of the society, you will be deprived and disrespected.
    3. Two of my partners offered me motherhood either to show me good will or to save an almost destroyed relationship. Practically, they were offering me a deal, or suggested that it would calm me down, to prevent me from searching further - not a good way to initiate a new life.
    4. When I become pregnant by my to be first husband, in a highly complex and unclear situation, my mother told me to keep it to ensure the marriage. Shortly before that, my father explained to me that from his prospective, such was my mother's strategy with having me. I knew that even though it was factually unlikely to be the case, it showed me the depth of his resentment. I was very young, but I knew I did not want to create anything remotely similar to the circumstances I came to existence myself. It removed the rest of my bitter hesitations about terminating the pregnancy, which was a tormenting decision from the beginning.
    5. Most men I met referred to having children as a burden, even if an unavoidable one. Many seemed to play a game of "letting" a female invest in their child, and it seemed unattractive and week to me.
      Others were afraid to be tricked into it, for a good reason: I personally knew girls who were "hunting" for a reliable provider in a skillful doom. As for me, I was knowingly a burden to both of my parents, and there was no way I could put myself or my child into such a setting.
    6. On the other hand, I avoided men whose first goal seemed to be having an offspring. I just knew that without deep connection between us, I wouldn't be willing to stay, especially with a man who plans his family life by screening his potential partners with a basic checklist. It was shocking to me, how little some men wanted to know who I was as a person to marry me, as if my displayed genetic material and a few other basic requirements were nearly enough.
    7. My choice of men was significantly limited by my being strictly vegetarian and my other philosophical standpoints - objectively, but not regretfully. 

  2. My fears of inadequacy as a mother:
    1. I did not feel loved by my mother and was practically abandoned by her and my father from the first to the fifth-sixth years of my life, therefore I doubted my ability to bond with a newborn, being like them. For some reason they did not, and it could be in me too.
    2. My encounters with both of my grandmothers, especially on the father's side, gave me a strong feeling that the lack of motherly loving care could run in my family. I seriously questioned my ability to overcome that possible nature or micro-culture tendency. Indeed, I was never as good around little kids as other girls were.
    3. I remember being concerned about transformations of my body after pregnancy and breastfeeding, and my subsequent unattractiveness to my partner - or anyone - who would then either leave me with the baby, or stay out of duty only. I heard and read men discussing such changes with disgust. I saw many of them leaving their wives or staying with contempt. I thought, my only chance to be loved, as a woman, would be diminished. Being torn apart right next to my clitoris was unimaginable, and possible complications by giving birth, and being treated in hospitals like a cattle either. 
    4. Lonely mothers fell low in status: they were casually disrespected, and in turn they mistreated their children, also casually, and aggressively pursued married men. The mind-boggling examples of such behavior by people I knew or observed made me remind myself that with all my pride I am only a human - I was by no means ready to go through such adversity. I just increased my protection: avoidance, abstinence, IUD, etc.
    5. My diet was highly experimental, and I felt like I had no right to impose it on my child, because it had not been tested by multiple generations of humans. I questioned my willingness and ability to give my child regular foods, which I considered unethical or detrimental to a high degree.
    6. In the beginning, I was unsure how long I could keep my good health, considering my stressful and unusual lifestyle, and thought that it might be irresponsible for me to start a 20-year project of supporting a new person. I did everything I could to keep myself the healthiest possible, but I was also unable to integrate into a reliable external health support system. I could not even get enough rest.
    7. Solitude. My desire to be on my own and to immerse into art was so overwhelming that I doubted I would give enough time and passion to my child, even if I wanted. I was afraid to never be fully alone again. And therefore, I wouldn't be a good mom.

  3. Other considerations:
    1. My maternal instinct was noticeably strong, but not as overwhelming and defining as of other women. I had only a few short periods when I felt a strong need to have a baby, and I learned how to deal with it, successfully.
    2. As I mentioned earlier, I never was good with little kids: I talked to them as if they were adults and many of them seemed to be confused by it. After a while, I usually felt bored with children under 14, unless they were exceptionally smart - like many of my friend's kids, who actually like me, somewhat. In short, I loved teenagers, but would not know the first thing to do with babies and toddlers.
    3. I created myself almost from scratch and I avoided countless dangers only with some luck. Even if I were able to help my child to have a better beginning, I would not have known how to handle the fear and responsibility of parenting.
    4. Remembering my childhood was hard for me, and to go through it with another person would have been even harder - so, I think, I subconsciously avoided becoming a mother by putting myself in an incompatible environments, one after another.
    5. Despite all social pressure, I did not feel obliged to create a new life, because other people seemed to have no problems with having children - too often for inferior personal reasons. Populating the planet without any considerations about its limited resources or the quality of care we give to the kids, or which legacy we leave to them seemed questionable to me.
      A few examples from my own life of the pressure to have a child a young women may experience:
      1. in many repetitive variations people tell you that your life and you are worthless without child baring caregiving;
      2. they have talks with you on how you owe children to your family, race, or nation;
      3. who would bring you a lass of water in your old age?
      4. life without children has no colors;
      5. what else can you do with your time?;
      6. you won't influence anyone;
      7. no man would really appreciate a woman who is not a mother of his children;
      8. nobody will truly love you;
      9. you will bitterly regret it after 40 and start hording and crying over baby clothing (not in my case);
      10. you will die alone.
        Needless to say, most if not all of these are not good reasons to have children, in my view.
    6. Some people shamed me for staying childless with my "great" genes. They did not understand how little that meant for a person without other essential needs met. My parents empathized often the intelligence and the health they gave me, and I seemed to demonstrate my dismissal of this isolated physicality by disregarding procreation.
      Genes in my family did not automatically produce kind brains. One requires a careful buildup of this type of neural net over long years. Thus, if you are into this kind of creation - of new wonderful people, and at 18 I wanted my future child to be a genius - genes are just a small part of the equation.
    7. After some research, I realized rather early that my influence on my child would be severely restricted and most likely overpowered by that of the society. Additionally, I did not trust that the share of influence by my partners and their families would be most beneficial in a long run.
    8. I despised the way some people justify their worst deeds with the notion that they did it for their children. I did not believe in trading own integrity for an abstract "better future." However, my concern was that once my parental instinct kicks in, and then - in case I find myself in dare circumstances, which was very likely - I would be forced to become a moral or economical slave, for the survival of my offspring.
    9. The delicate balance between imposing parental worldview, however refined and reasonable, and the autonomy of the child in adaptation to the changing world was the most challenging issue to me.

This is my most honest suitable for publication reflections on this topic for now. If I think of something else, I'll add it.


Lena Nechet, artist - Fine art, media productions, language.
San Diego, California , USA, 323-686-1771

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